Story by Michael Davidson
Music by William N. Underwood
Reading by Brian LeBow & Victoria McGee
She’s sitting on the windowsill and her name is Violet and her arms are wrapped underneath her breasts. One leg is on the floor, the other is leaning against the window. Her hair is black and her skin is brown and her body is naked.
She’s sitting on the windowsill, seven flights in the air, looking down at the green fairways of a golf course she has never played before even though she has seen many people going around in their golf outfits and little white golf carts, making it seem as though they’re actually playing a demanding sport with their divots flying through the air.
She’s sitting on the windowsill and sees that there’s no one on the golf course today, at least no one who’s playing. There’s a boy though. Not a boy, but a man. A man who doesn’t know he’s still a boy. He’s reading a book and staring at the tree above his head and looks calm and he’s dressed in white.
He’s reading a book that interests him at times, but now he’s bored of it, so he stops reading. He’s feeling good without words in his mind – the newness making his eyes clear up – and he lies down on his back to look at the tree above him and the grass crunches underneath his body. The tree: poking in between its leaves is the blue sky. Then there’s a wind and the book’s pages turn and he closes his clear eyes.
When he opens them again, he thinks: why is it that women excite me more than the open sky? He doesn’t think more because he doesn’t know the answer. Dumfounded, something crawls into his ear and he swats at it. Bam! The sound echoes once in his head and then the crawling comes back, undefeated, so he swats again and the crawling stops.
There’s a voice calling her from outside her room.
-Violet! Tim’s here.
-Send him in!
She’s sitting on the windowsill when Tim walks in. He’s the same age as her, twenty-five. There’s nothing special about him. He’s lazy looking with wrinkles in his clothes and he closes the door and doesn’t say a word as he begins to get naked. Violet sighs when she notices that his skin is also wrinkled.
She turns away and looks down at the boy dressed in white. He’s reading again and this makes her smile, hoping that he’ll smile back. He does.
Then the reflection of Tim can be seen ghost-like in the window, walking towards her. Violet blinks her eyes, trying to erase him, or at least his ghost, but both are permanent and she sighs and Tim touches one of her breasts, squeezes it, and Violet’s flesh pushes out through the spaces in between the groper’s fingers. His penis begins to throb.
He starts to read again. The paragraph suits him fine and he reads the next one easily. Then he gets bored, stops, and thumbs through the pages. He closes the book and lies back down, thinking it’s too long. The tree hasn’t changed. Neither has the sky. The leaves rustle. He tries to think about why they make that sound. He thinks about wind, about instruments, and he doesn’t know anything about either, so he decides that he doesn’t know much and then he realizes that he doesn’t care. His eyes clear up and close shut and he feels the sun beating on his cheek, warming him up. Heat. He conjures up a normal-size fairy, which lands on top of him and asks if he wants to make love. He says okay.
The same voice calls her again.
-Violet! Greg’s here.
-Send him in!
Tim’s already gone and Violet’s back on the windowsill, bare-skinned and redolent, black hair moist around her ears. She’s looking down at the boy on the fairway dressed in white and curls her lips and talks to him. In silence. She sees his head nodding and feels like something is happening between them when Greg opens and closes the door.
-You look beautiful today, Violet.
-You know the rules: No talking.
-I was only complimenting you.
-Another word and you’ll have to leave.
Greg, older than Tim, shuts his mouth and takes off his clothes. His body is shriveled with age. Violet sees his reflection in the window and blinks and sighs and he grabs her breast and lifts it up and then lets it fall, watching it swing, feeling his penis hard and small.
Does that feel good? You’re asking me if that feels good? Hell yeah, that feels good – the wind brushing against my balls – that’s perfect. Oh yeah, just like that, please don’t stop, just like that. Lemme look at you. Your face, your face under the sky makes me want to die, or cry, or fly . . . I’m your poet. You know that? Only good can come from this I tell you! Only good!
He opens his eyes and looks around and sees no fairy.
Greg’s the last client for today. She’d light a cigarette, but she doesn’t smoke. Instead, Violet combs her black hair, puts on a white robe, and sits down on the windowsill. He’s still down there, lying on the grass, staring at everything above him with serenity on his face. She grins and his teeth show white.
-You look like you’re different, you know that? Yes, you look like you’re different. The way you smile, the way you spend your time, is different.
She sighs, hopeful, and steps out onto the balcony expecting a change. The wind blows through her black hair and opens up half her robe so that if she wanted to she could fly.
-Excuse me! Excuse me! Do you hear me down there! Up here! Up here! Excuse me!
He looks for the voice. Up. He sees a woman waving her arms in a building behind him. Her hair makes him wonder if a part of the sky is missing. He waves back without getting up – uncertain – because he doesn’t want to humiliate himself if he’s not the intended one.
-Yeah, you! I’m talking to you.
-Who else, stupid? What’s your name?
-Roy? That’s a small name.
-Yeah, I guess it is. Do I know you or something?
-Well, could I get to know you?
-What’s with this maybe talk? Can I get to know you, yes or no?
-If you can guess my name.
-Oh, well now, that should be easy.
-If you say so.
-Do I get any clues?
-Just one clue! Of all the names . . . I’m doomed.
She runs back inside and comes out with a single flower, a red rose. She pulls one of the petals off and lets it go in the wind and he stands up and walks over to the building, leaving his book behind, waiting for the clue.
-But what’d you say? I only saw you drop something.
-That’s the clue.
-What? That’s the clue!
-Uh-huh, catch it; you’ll see.
-Oh, God. Who do you think I am?
He wavers with the falling clue, walking back and forth, loosing his balance and catching himself in time, and the rose petal falls a distance away from him. He walks over to it.
When he sees what it is she dropped, he thinks to himself: Her name must be Rose. It must be since it was a rose petal she dropped. Or it could be Red. Yes, her name could be Red. Or Petal. Damn, her name could be Petal. I’ve never known a girl named Petal, but I’m sure she’s out there, and this is probably her. Damn! Rose, Red, Petal. What’s her name?
-Find it, Roy?
-So, can you guess my name now?
-Wait. I’m trying to think.
She waits for him and he looks at the clue in his hand and then up at her black hair and the wind blows hard. He thinks he sees her breast. Yes, he’s sure of it, so he concentrates more. Then he turns the page and finds her name written on the other side, plain on the petal for him to read.
-Violet! Your name is Violet!
-How’d you guess?
-Well uh, you made it easy for me.
Silence. A part of Violet shudders at his answer and Roy asks what’s wrong and she lies and tells him nothing –
-Just come upstairs. I’m on the seventh floor, the door will be open.